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Douglas Model 423

Heavy Bomber Design Proposal

United States | 1944

"The Douglas Model 423 was intended for the heavy bomber role with the USAAF prior to the American entry in World War 2 - it was not furthered beyond a proposal."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/05/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
By the middle of 1941, World War 2 as in full swing and American authorities looked into the possibility of the United States being pulled into the conflict - particularly if allied Britain were to fall as did France. This spurred the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) to seek out a new all-modern, long-range heavy bomber with capabilities to fly outside of the reach of enemy air defenses (including interceptors) and far into enemy-held territory. Douglas aircraft was one of the firms to respond to the requirement and delivered their Model 423 as a result. The competition was eventually won by a design put forth by Consolidated which went on to become the post-war B-36 "Peacemaker".

The Douglas entry relied on 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360 "Wasp Major" air-cooled radial piston engines, each outputting 3,000 horsepower. As drawn up, the aircraft exhibited a length of 35.75 meters with a wingspan reaching 63.09 meters and a height of 14.5 meters. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) was in the vicinity of 90,000 kilograms. Douglas engineers suggested their aircraft could have a range out to 9,654 kilometers.

Internally there would be a crew of eight to man the various positions about the aircraft. One key physical characteristic of the design was its pilot's set within individual bubble-style canopy cockpits along the forward section of the airframe. The bomb bay would hold upwards of 11,340 kilograms of conventional drop munitions. Up to six 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns, set in three remote-controlled power-operated turrets (one dorsally, one ventrally, one at the tail) would be featured to defend the aircraft from enemy fighters.

In the end, the Model 423 fell by the wayside as the Consolidated B-36 program was selected and pushed to operational-level service. A first-flight of a prototype was had in August of 1946, at which time the war was all but over, and service entry occurred in 1949 - much too late to make any sort of impact in World War 2.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Douglas Model 423 Heavy Bomber Design Proposal.
4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360 "Wasp Major" air-cooled radial piston engines developing 3,000 horsepower each.
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Douglas Model 423 Heavy Bomber Design Proposal.
117.3 ft
35.75 m
O/A Length
207.0 ft
(63.10 m)
O/A Width
50.9 ft
(15.50 m)
O/A Height
198,008 lb
(89,815 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Douglas Model 423 Heavy Bomber Design Proposal .
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns in forward dorsal turret.
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns in ventral turret.
2 x 37mm automatic cannons in tail position.

Up to 25,000lb of internally-held stores.
Notable series variants as part of the Douglas Model 423 family line.
Model 423 - Douglas company model deisgnation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Douglas Model 423. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Douglas Aircraft - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (cancelled) ]
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Image of the Douglas Model 423
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Douglas Model 423 Heavy Bomber Design Proposal appears in the following collections:
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